Former Vice President Mike Pence described a nation in crisis and in desperate need of a new leader Tuesday evening, but without naming himself. This was in New Hampshire, where the first GOP primary in 2024 will be held.
Pence told over 100 attendees at a New Hampshire think tank dinner that the failed policies of the Biden Administration have made the American Dream more and more out of reach. This was one of Pence's strongest signals that he is about to launch a White House campaign.
"People look at you and say, do you think we can turn it around? Think we can turn this around? I always look with confidence at it and say that we're going to get it back and more, just watch."Pence continued."All we need now is leadership."
If Pence enters the GOP race, he will have a lot to make up. According to a University of New Hampshire poll conducted in April, the former vice president polls at only 3% among likely GOP primary voters.
Former President Donald Trump is in the lead with a large lead of 42%. Florida Gov. Scott with 22% of the vote is behind Trump. Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his presidential bid soon. The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 2,3%.
Pence chose not to criticize Trump in his remarks, or to separate his own accomplishments from those of Trump. He instead praised his accomplishments as Trump's vice president and said that the next Republican president would be wise to extend Trump's 2017 tax reform, which expires in 2025.
Pence said that the near-record high inflation in 2017 was not an accident, but a deliberate decision. He cited this as evidence of how America's prosperity has been renewed. He added that Biden had "squandered the economy" he inherited both from him and Trump.
If Pence decides to run, he will still need to distinguish himself from Trump in front of GOP primary voters. After his remarks, Pence told reporters that he saw no awkwardness in running as his former boss, and added that he had "debated Donald Trump a number of times, but not with cameras on."
The vast popularity of safety nets among voters has made it difficult for presidential candidates to address the reality of entitlement programs in 2024. Voters are not in favor of either raising taxes or reducing benefits.
Pence didn't give specifics but he did criticize government spending. He cited his three granddaughters as evidence of "runaway government expenditures" and said that he could not avoid the uncertain future of these programs.
"They say, we won't even talk about it. Common sense and compassion can be viewed as entitlements. Pence said, "But I can't look those little granddaughters right in the eyes and do that. I cannot say that this is our problem and not yours."I can't let them make those difficult choices.
Biden's budget proposal would extend Medicare's solvency through a tax rate increase for those earning more than $400,000.Biden has also promised to protect Social Security, but the same budget did not outline a plan to address its eventual insolvency.
Pence's trip to the Granite State was not the only sign that he is preparing for a White House run. A "super political action" committee has been formed to support his presidential campaign.
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